September 4, 2019

The Key to Ramping New Reps Faster

By Max Altschuler, CMO, Outreach

In many sales orgs, onboarding, training, and ramping new reps is tedious for everyone involved. At Outreach, though, it’s a breeze. As the leader in the sales engagement space, we have a ton of experience acquiring new reps – and have developed a system that ramps reps faster: The Agoge Tribe.

The gogi-what? More on that in a minute.

An underrated aspect of a strong sales engagement strategy is the ability to ramp reps much faster than ever before. Above all, ramping starts with process. Without a repeatable, replicable process, it’s almost impossible to ramp or forecast ramp time of new reps.

A solid sales engagement strategy not only allows for the creation of an easy and controlled process; it also provides the necessary metrics and oversight to train and coach best practices that you are 100 percent sure are actually best practices.

The Best Process for Ramping New Reps
The Agoge Tribe is the easy and controlled process every sales team needs. Seasoned SDR manager Sam Nelson, who introduced this method, has ramped every new rep at Outreach for the past two years. He reports: “I am convinced that being an Agoge leader is the most fun job in tech.”

The concept comes from ancient Sparta. When new recruits would come up to join the warriors, they would all be put into one group where they trained and graduated with one another to become warriors. This one group was called the Agoge.

So, yes, we are suggesting you treat your SDRs like ancient Greek warriors. It works. The proof is in the data.

A Proven Sales Engagement Strategy
The very first Agoge team (despite being one of the least experienced SDR classes yet) came in and shattered previous records: 243 percent of quota, 100 percent participation, and the fastest ramping group of all time. Subsequent Agoge teams just keep raising the bar.

Here are a few reasons the Agoge Tribe method works wonders:

  • It’s the perfect environment to clone a top performer.
  • The Agoge leader can specialize in issues specific to new reps.
  • Big classes can be trained as one.
  • It’s a great incubator for new processes and ideas.
  • Implementing needed changes is easy.
  • Agoges train each other.
  • The structure builds camaraderie.

And it’s not a drag! Focusing on new reps the first few months is actually a lot of fun. They’re all pumped up to be getting started, and have a ton of energy. They’re fresh slates: open to both established best practices and radical new ideas.

Having all that fresh blood and energy on a team is super motivating for everyone. A successful team is a happy team.

Applications for Your Sales Development
At its core, the Agoge Tribe is a system for making the onboarding, training, and ramping process faster and easier for SDRs. There are many other applications, however. It can spearhead new sales development and engagement experiments. It can improve sales rep retention. Sam even advocates deploying the Agoge SDRs at events. Yep, his method gets sales reps from zero to booth-hustling in less than a month.

This component of your sales engagement strategy is not only for companies that break out SDRs, AEs, and customer success managers (CSMs), but also for companies that have full-cycle reps that prospect, close deals, and upsell. It works for both large companies and small sales teams.

Fact: Training new sales reps can be easy and fun! At Outreach, we drink our own champagne and pride ourselves on being quick to ramp – making every quarter faster than the previous one.

Check out The Agoge Tribe and more proven sales engagement strategies in the book

Sales Engagement: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Are Modernizing Sales Through Humanization at Scale.

Max Altschuler is CMO at Outreach.